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Western University
Psychology 2550A/B

Phenomenological approaches to personality - Phenomenology = “to appear” in Greek (study of consciousness and self-awareness - Conscious awareness of one’s environment: the way a person interprets reality - Self: key concept - Carl rogers and George Kelly are the prominent theorists Rogerian theory of personality - Distinction must be made between: o Objective reality ( exists, can be measured) and subjective reality (personal interpretation) - Self-concept: the way a person sees him or herself and determined by:  Objective way: objective reality  Interpretation of that objective reality: subjective reality  Objective reality + subjective reality = phenomenal field - Ideal self: the self that you would like to be - Self-acceptance: distance btn self-concept and ideal-self (close they are, better you are) o Ideal self and self-acceptance are in contrast with self-esteem Personality assessment 1. Content analysis: - Initially used by rogers to evaluate self-concept - Subject talk about self and experimenter transcripts descriptive statements into categories, then analyzed the content 2. Adjective checklist - Series of adjectives presented, the subject must pick those that apply to self  Not good methods! Cannot compare different people on the same attribute 3. Semantic differential - The subject is asked to rate a stimulus word on several 7 point o Self? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 - To measure self-acceptance: administrated the test twice, one for the self-concept another one for the ideal concept! Then compare! - Two ways to compare: o Self-ideal correlation: look the shape of the 2 profiles (correlation)  BUT: shows the profile but not how much they differed from each other o Self-ideal discrepancies: look at the discrepancy between the two stimulus scale  BUT: it’s scale dependant (9 or 11 categories)  There is no negative direction (squared)  It’s not a significant test 4. Q sort - The subject is given 100 cards, each containing one-self descriptive statement - Then asked to sort the card in 11 piles ranging from “most like me” to least like me” - Each item is then assigned a score according to the category in which it was placed - The normal distribution eliminates some response biases E.g. of Q sort: - Akeret: the self is not a construct that is uni-dimensional, but is composed of several dimensions or facets - 4 dimensions of self-concept: o Academic values (I study a lot in advance for my exam) o Interpersonal relations (I have friend that I can trust) o Sexual adjustment (I like to kiss on the first date) o Emotional adjustment (people considered me to be a happy person) - Asked 81 subjects and do 2 Q sorts (self and ideal) - Measured the discrepancy and correlate the self-acceptance score (correlation matrices) - Several fact of the self: multidimensional! Rogers theory continued! Self-actualization (hypothetical construct) - Rogers abandoned the view that personality was fixed at 5 or 6 but person is always changing - Self-actualization is a basic human drive (grow into a fully functioning individual) - Move from dependence to independence, and adapt to the environment - Measure of self-actualization: o The self-actualization index (Jones and Crandall): 15 items (4 facets)  Autonomy  Self-acceptance and self-esteem  Acceptance of emotion and freedom of expression of emotion  Trust and responsibility in interpersonal relationship Congruence: - Congruence between self and experience: each person has a different self-concept and will behave in the way that is consistent with that concept Incongruence: can lead to anxiety - If the conflict I symbolized (awareness)it can be resolved But if remains unconscious, it can be subcepted: lead to anxiety => problem => defense mechanisms (denial and distortion) o Denial: similar to Freudian concept o Distortion: misperceives the event so it’s congruent with the self-image - Study have shown: bogus personality that is inconsistent with real personality is poorly recalled! Changing self-concept: - Can we change the self-concept of person and so, change and predict its behaviour - E.g. Aronson and Mettee o Subject induced to lower their self-esteem will be more likely to cheat o Subject induced to raise their self-esteem will be less likely to cheat o 3 groups (positive, neutral and negative feedback) o Each group members takes a personality test and receives a false feedback o All subjects play cards and give them an opportunity to cheat o People behave in a manner that supports their self-concept (can be manipulated) Fully functioning - Some individuals can accept incongruent experience because they are fully functioning - The need for positive regard o Upr: accept incongruence, no defense (parents love no matter what) o Cpr: want worthy love, distortion and deny in incongruent situation - Children with high self-esteem come from families more loving, consistently enforced demands of child, democratic, behaviour control trough discussion and reasoning Rogerian view of psychopathology - Neurosis: cannot assimilate experiences into self-structure (incongruence leads to defense) - Psychosis: defense fail and behaviors inconsistent with the self-emerge Therapy client-centred counselling - Talking trough therapy (one/one), non-directive, expression of feelings without fear of censure, therapist is involved! Insight the origins of problems follow by emotional catharsis => total acceptance - But emphasis on: client (not patient), client-centered (not therapist centered),on counselling and not therapy - Condition for a successful CCC: o Genuineness: honest with the client o UPR: at the same time o Empathy o Non-directive - Turner and Vanderlipp: people with small self-ideal discrepancies (= self-acceptance) will be more adjusted o 2 groups: highest correlation (good self-acceptance) vs lowest correlation o Peer marks on: organizer, approachable, influential, friendly, cooperative, wise, GPA, ACT o Subject having lower discrepancies between self and ideal(= higher self-acceptance) are more adjusted, better GPA but not differing in IQ - Butler and Haigh: CCC results in decreases in self-ideal discrepancy o 25 clients: self and ideal Q sorts before and after therapy o Pretest post-test control group design o Maladjustment related to low self-acceptance (CCC can raise it) - Truax: something else is going on in CCC and causing the client to become “adjusted” o For him the therapist gives direction o Methods: do a content analysis of one successful case of therapy o Content of verbalizations  for the therapist: empathy, positive regard, directiveness  for the client: degree of discrimination learning, ambiguity of statements, insight, similarity of expression with the therapist, degree of problem orientation, degree of catharsis, degree of blocking (defenses types), degree of anxiety, degree of negative feelings expression o if Rogers is correct all the correlation should be zero (constant) o But, Rogers used verbal conditioning, directiveness and the PR is not unconditional o Greenspoon effect: verbal reinforcers (to elicit plural vs singular nouns) Recent phenomenological research on the self - Remember, focus on how people perceived the same objective reality differently - Now researchers tend to refer to self-schema more than self-concept - Tom Rogers, self-referent personality is important for individuals o E.g. in a memory recall task, performance should be superior if self-reference is used as a basis of learning o Compare self-reference with a structural, phonemic and semantic basis o 4 groups:  Structural: same size letter => yes or no  Phonemic: rhymes with…?=> yes or no  Semantic: means same as…?=> yes or no  Self-reference: describes you? E.g. shy => yes or no o Measure of 2 dependant variables: reaction time (latency) and recall o (Nb: 4 means, with a T-test, subscripts: means the largest versus the smallest means) o Results: self is a powerful determinant of information-processing o Produces stronger memory traces (because ego is involved) - Kuiper and Rogers: o The self-referent caused the superior recall or it’s just the personality judgment? o Change the phonemic task to the question: “describes experimenter” (other referent) o Results: reference to the self and not another person Self- awareness theory Self-awareness= self-knowledge=self-consciousness  Awareness of one’s unconscious thoughts, motive, feelings defenses  2 lines of research: o Scaling individual differences o Manipulating self-awareness (can change it) Feinigstein, Scheier and Buss - People vary in the degree of self-awareness and we can measure it - People write 38 self-descriptive statements: o Preoccupation with own behavior o Sensitivity to inner feelings o Recognition of own + and – attributes o Dispositions toward introspective behaviors o Tendency to imagine self o Awareness of physical appearance and presentation o Concern about appraisal of others - After administer the test, reduce the scale to 23 items: five point rating scale o 0 extremely uncharacteristic => 4 extremely characteristic - Did a factor analysis: determine if or not a group of variables form one or more independence cluster or subgroups o Cluster is measuring the same thing (highly inter-correlated) o E.g. 23 items so min cluster 1 and maximum cluster 23 - Factors analysis’s method: o Raw data matrix: Column: variable X=23 and lines: subject N=432, S: grade given to the item by the subject o Variables inter-correlation matrix: column are inter-correlated into variables (between column 1 and 2 for example) o Factor loading matrix: each entry is the correlation of the variables with each of the clusters lines: number of variables columns (called a factor): number of clusters x: correlation of variable one with cluster one 0 mean the variable does not correlate with the cluster Factors are considered bipolar dimensions, variables can have high positive loadings or high negative loadings on the factor, so they belong to the same cluster. - Results: expected to find 7 factors but find 3 factors (=clusters): o Private self-consciousness (awareness of inner feelings) o Public self-consciousness (awareness of self as a social object) o Social anxiety - Conclusion: self-consciousness consists of two independent concepts (public and private) which can be measured Scheier, Buss and Buss - Used the self-consciousness scale o Subjects high private self-consciousness should provide more accurate self-reports about their behavior than those low in private o For subjects high and low in public self-consciousness, there should be no difference - Administered SCS and a questionnaire about aggression then measure the objective levels of aggression using the buss aggression machine (administration of shock by the subject) - Conclusion: people aware (high in private) are better able to predict their own behavior) Nasby - People high in private should provide more reliable self-reports across time (less likely to change) - Administered SCS and 15-scale personality inventory (again 2 months later) o Compute difference scores d² a
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